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A Reflection on Writing: why this is such a strange and wonderful art.

This morning, I woke up at 5:30am. When I'm working on a story, that's when I get up and start the day. By 6am, I'm halfway through an energy drink and planning what to wear for the day. 6:30am, Harley gets breakfast, I get a shower, and then we're off to the races. 7-8am is writing time, and then 8-9am is free time - either continuing writing if I'm engaged in a scene, or TikTok scrolling if I'm not. Off to the day job around 9am for a the rest of the day. That's my morning routine in a nutshell, and today I got up on the same schedule but realized I had nothing to do.

After almost a year of working on this story, Bound To Parish is finally complete.

I'm so excited for it to be done! After spending nearly a year with this story, from my flawed first draft, to my revised second, to the edit that completely rearranged it into a much more engaging narrative, to the proofread that started with blood and ended with joy, it's done.

And that's part of the reason why writing is weird and wonderful.

I love saying that something is done. The book is finished. The last 8 months of stress and worry and anguish over if I'm any good at this writing thing in the first place, if I'll ever finish this scene, if the story is even worth telling, is over. I can sit back, relax, and bask in the glory.

Except not really.

I'm still working on things, although I've done a better job at pre-planning this go around, so I do actually have a bit of a break. Right now, the manuscript is with someone for another, second proofread, in hopes of catching any small errors that my tired eyes might have missed. In the mean time, I'm waiting for the cover guy to reply to me with the full paper/hardback versions of the cover. Since I haven't heard from him yet, in my constant nervousness about not being prepared, I've created my own covers as well. That's been fun, and has taught me a bit more about Photoshop than I knew before. (GIMP technically, but same difference) I've been using my premium Canva subscription to its fullest, making images for release to use on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter (X? What are we calling it now?). I ordered business cards and bookmarks, which arrived yesterday and look amazing. I even reached out to two local bookstores that support Indie authors and asked about book signings. They both declined politely, with the caveat that I'd need to be a consignment seller before events would be considered. I didn't even know that was an option, but now that I do, I'm definitely going to be looking into that.

Even with all of this going on, and gearing up to actually upload it to Amazon and sort out the pre-order and release dates, I feel like I have nothing to do. Showering this morning, I realized I'd be ready to go for writing time with no writing to be done. I started back in on the book I'd started a while ago, THE CARDINAL LINE by Jordan Fitch, a fellow Indie author, last night. With about a week of free time before I need to start seriously setting up release things, it's nice to be able to read again.

At the same time, in the back of my mind, I feel a pressure. My goal is to release a book a year for the foreseeable future, in an effort to develop a routine release schedule. For a traditional author, that feels fast, but for an indie it's pretty slow. For me, it feels right. However, that means that by the time Bound To Parish is out, I'll have maybe a month of downtime before I need to hop back into the next one.

This is my current struggle. I want a vacation. I want to relax from everything, maybe waste some time playing video games. Maybe read some more books I've been ignoring. Maybe stare blankly at a wall for a few hours. While I want that, I also want to dive into a new concept, start work on a new novel, get ideas down on paper and work them into something magical. I already have an idea floating around for the next book, but it seems like it might become more work than I'm comfortable with. However, Bound To Parish did that to a point, and I love it, so maybe that's what needs to happen.

For now, I think I'm going to take things a day at a time. I have a week off from the day job for release week, and if nothing else, I can use that time to soak in the fact that I've done it again. The fourth book, and third full-length novel, has been completed.

At the end of the day, being able to say that is the best thing I could ask for.

BOUND TO PARISH will be out April 16th! Preorders could start as early as next week, but most likely the week after.


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